Saturday, January 1, 2011

Penguin Plunge

On this first day of the new year we thought it would be good to join local history books by participating in the annual Penguin Plunge at Deep Cove.
To set the scene: Let me remind southern hemisphere readers it is Winter here. The last few days have been sunny, but averaging about -1 degrees celcius. Today you could have been excused for thinking there was snow on the ground.
625 Snowy plant crystals
This photo is not particularly pertiment to the story except that I wanted to point out how much I like secret tunnels leading towards light like this. We did walk through here this morning.
625 Tunnel with light
The fountain was frozen.
625 Frozen fountain
Everything was covered in a thin layer of ice.
625 tea on ice bench
There was even ice on the top of the water we swam in. One of Seth's crazy (I've got a mix of admiration and something else I can't find the word for...) 15 year old female friends not only plunged but swam out to a nearby plontoon. She came back with bleeding hands having had to crack through sheets of ice in order to reach her destination. Thank goodness for a large communal bonfire.
625 Stoking the fire
A band to play some merry jigs. There was a great old fashioned village feel to it all.
625 Band playing looking at each other
A picturesque setting.
625 Boats in the water with fire
At 1.30 there was a costume parade: here are 2 penguins, baby penguin can't be seen.
625 Penguin family 2
A green dinosaur man...
625 dinosaur man
One of a pair of guys dressed up as presents. Yes he has those flouncy things on his nipples. And yes they wore this in the water.
625 present guy
How cute is the little kid in the fluffy costume?625 cute kid in suit longer
A photographer doing his thing.
625 photographer
Lining up by the water at 2. It was packed.
625 Dice
After a count down people galloped into the water enthusiastically, and did not last long before racing out again with a sense of urgency into a crowd of yet-to-plunge participants and dry onlookers. People pushing in all directions. Lips turning purple. Steam rising from a pack of wiggling sardines. Mayhem.
625 People in water straight
The thing that hurt the most were my toes. I had thongs (of the footwear kind, I think they might be called flip-flops here) but my toes felt like stiff, frozen, fish fingers and I couldn't bend them to get my shoes on. Some dry clothes and we warmed up quickly. Seth was seriously shivering and I was worried he might have hypothermia. He was one of the first in the water and I think he had trouble getting back out through semi-hysteric crowds. I kept thinking about Bear Grylls stripping off (seems to happen every episode) after one of his routine swims in much too cold water but there were a few too many people around to convince Seth that was a good idea. Thankfully, we all made it back with 5 toes on each foot. Thankyou Deep Cove people for a great adventure and a badge to prove it.


  1. wow, talk about immersiung yourselves in the local culture! I am very impressed and glad you are still with toes.

  2. I'm so glad you did this sharolyn! and beautifully documented.

    I think this might even top your other idea of climbing a giant mountain first thing new years day.


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